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Pleas entered, sentences made in W.Va. drug cases

July 23, 2006

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Four people entered pleas and three others were sentenced last week in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia in Martinsburg by Judge W. Craig Broadwater, according to a press release from Acting U.S. Attorney Rita R. Valdrini.

The following people entered pleas:

· Michael James Triplett, 37, of 330 Easel Ave. in Martinsburg, pleaded guilty July 17 to one count of an indictment charging him with the distribution of 0.15 grams of crack cocaine on Oct. 12, 2005, at the Mountaineer Mart in Martinsburg.

Triplett faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. He is free on bond, with sentencing scheduled for Oct. 2.

· Christopher K. Turpin, aka New York, 20, of Martinsburg, pleaded guilty July 17 to one count of an indictment charging him with the distribution of crack cocaine on Nov. 3, 2005, in Martinsburg.

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Turpin faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. He is in custody, with sentencing scheduled for Oct. 10.

· Uniqua Ratford, 24, of Martinsburg, pleaded guilty July 19 to one count of an indictment charging him with the distribution of 0.60 grams of crack cocaine on Oct. 12, 2005, near the stone bridge on Golf Course Road in Martinsburg.

Ratford faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. He is free on bond, with sentencing scheduled for Oct. 10.

· Robert Henry Phipps II, 34, of 678 Mount Olive Road in Martinsburg, pleaded guilty July 19 to one count of an indictment charging him with the distribution of 0.60 grams of crack cocaine on Oct. 12, 2005, near the stone bridge on Golf Course Road in Martinsburg.

Phipps faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. He is free on bond, with sentencing scheduled for Oct. 10.

The following people were sentenced:

· James Edward Brown, 51, of 52 Capital Drive in Martinsburg, was sentenced July 17 to 69 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release.

Brown entered a guilty plea April 18 to one count of an indictment charging him with maintaining a "crack" house from the summer of 2004 to January 2006.

· Shirley Marie Chapman, 50, of 52 Capital Drive in Martinsburg, was sentenced July 20 to 70 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release.

Chapman entered a guilty plea April 17 to one count of an indictment charging her with the distribution of 1.43 grams of cocaine base on May 17, 2005.

· Daniel Woods, 58, of 2533 Eagle School Road in Martinsburg, was sentenced July 20 to 84 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release.

Woods entered a guilty plea April 11 to one count of an indictment charging him with maintaining a "crack" house from April 2003 to October 2003 in Martinsburg.

These cases were prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas O. Mucklow. They were investigated by the Eastern Panhandle Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force, consisting of officers from West Virginia State Police's Bureau of Criminal Investigations, the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department and the Martinsburg Police Department.

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